David SternMONTHLY DONOR
David's Story

David joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Seven years ago, David joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. David's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.

Impact

David has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.

All patients funded by David

Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."

23%funded
$358raised
$1,142to go

Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”

48%funded
$531raised
$557to go

Dismas is a boda boda taxi driver from Kenya. He is a bright and hardworking young man from a highland region in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Dismas is the third born in a family of four. He studied up to the 7th grade in primary school, but then had to stop attending due to the school fees. Now he lives in a rental house with his wife and their son. His parents live in a place far from him in a semi-arid area, and he moved to look for work and to earn a living. Before his recent accident, Dismas was employed as a motorcycle driver and his limited wages enabled him to sustain his family and give his parents a little support. After a severe road traffic accident about three weeks ago, Dismas was taken to the hospital on a stretcher and is still unable to walk. The bill for his care has been accumulating and he had no funds to pay due to his current state and inability to work. Well-wishers helped him pay the bill and he was discharged home with his fracture stabilized on a splint. One of his brothers reached out to a friend who knew of our medical partner's care center, Kapsowar Hospital, and he was brought in to see if they could help him. An x-ray found that he sustained fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 26th, Dismas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After he heals from this surgery, he will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Dismas says, "It really hurts when I see my family suffering. I am worried about their future if my condition doesn’t change. Kindly help me get well so that they may not be impacted even more.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”

$1,015raised
Fully funded